Personality tests like Myers-Briggs and DiSC can give you insight into your own strengths and challenges, and why people in your life act the way they do. After understanding what each style prefers (and also what sets them off), you’ll be able to achieve better teamwork, develop more patience and empathy, and create more harmony in your work and personal life.
Here’s a great list of 14 free online personality tests you can take. I especially love the Visual DNA test, as it makes you think differently about your responses than a more traditional written multiple choice test.
Some people will have extremely different “personalities” when answering questions about their work/leadership style versus friendship and dating preferences. Other people will be more consistent and steady. The trick is to answer for the same situation throughout the test. Your personality and preferences can also change over time, and in different situations (like when you’re stressed).
Apply Results at Work
Whether you’re on a team or leading one, it’s smart to know your preferred work style and that of your colleagues. Instead of going head-to-head during meetings, you can learn to speak and set up processes that work for everyone, allowing you to accomplish more of your goals. You’ll be able to hire to complement or balance the team, and assign tasks that leverage skills and minimize pain points. This smoother work process will keep things moving and keep everyone on the team happy and productive. It’s a good idea to periodically have everyone on your team take the same personality test — or have each new team member take it as part of their orientation to the team.
Apply Results at Home
Knowing what makes you tick can help lead you to a career or hobbies that feed your soul. It can also help you change the way you interact with those closest to you who might drive you crazy.
Make Up Your Own!
My favorite get-to-know-you question is, “If you were on a desert island and could only eat 3 foods for the rest of your life, what would they be?” (This is a small variation on the classic “What 3 books would you bring?” and you can customize the item to whatever interests you most.) I love this question as a quickie personality test because I can tell so much about someone by their favorite foods — are they my dessert-soulmate? A health junkie? A foodie? A lover of diverse foods or a “no thanks, that looks weird, get it away from me” type of person? Even the clarifying questions people ask tells me a lot — do they launch into questions about categories, specific flavors, and potential loopholes first, do they rattle off 1 or 2 foods but have to think hard about choosing a third? The quirky responses are sure to get you talking immediately to get to the story behind it, while the foods you share in common can have you swapping restaurant recommendations.
Have a favorite personality test that we didn’t mention here? Tell us what it is!